Western Australian Naturalists Club

Encouraging the study and protection of the natural environment

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Interactive native bee identification workshop with Dr Terry Houston – at the DRB – ticketed event

17 November 2018, 1:45 pm-5:00 pm


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SPECIAL EVENT – Bookings open for DRB members on Wednesday 10th October 2018 at 8am.

This is a day-time, interactive workshop on native bees with Dr Terry Houston. It is a ticketed event and there are only 40 tickets available. Everyone who wants to attend has to book in. Bookings open to DRB members on Wednesday 10th October at 8am; then if there are tickets left bookings open for other Nats’ Club members on Wednesday 17th October at 8am. If there are tickets left, bookings open to visitors on Wednesday 24th October at 8am. The minimum age of attendees is 10 years. We will also have a waiting list so if there are cancellations or a second workshop people on the waiting list will be given priority. Bookings are only taken through the website – please RSVP.

Presenter: It is with THE top specialist in native bees, Dr Terry Houston. Dr Terry Houston is a bee expert. He has spent the last 50 years studying Australian native bees and worked as the Curator of Insects at The Western Australian Museum for 34 years. He is the author of the new book: “A guide to native bees of Australia”.

A Guide to Native Bees of Australia
Bees are often thought of as yellow and black striped insects that live in hives and produce honey. However, Australia’s abundant native bees are incredibly diverse in their appearance and habits. There are approximately 2000 native bees in Australia. Some are yellow and black but others have blue stripes, are iridescent green or wasp-like. Some are social but most are solitary. Some do build nests with wax but others use silk or plant material, burrow in soil or use holes in wood and even gum-nuts. The book is illustrated with stunning photographs, and describes the form and function of bees, their life-cycle stages, nest architecture, sociality and relationships with plants. Photomicrographs of morphological characters and identification keys will also allow you to identify bees to genus level. Natural history enthusiasts, professional and amateur entomologists and beekeepers will find this an essential guide. We hope to have the book for sale on the day – still to be confirmed. Or the book can be purchased here: http://museum.wa.gov.au/store/books-and-dvds/guide-native-bees-australia-0

If you’d like to read about an example of a native bee, Terry has produced a fact sheet on the Shaggy Spined Bee, for example: http://museum.wa.gov.au/sites/default/files/Shaggy-Spined-Bee.pdf

The main goals of the workshop will be to help participants to:

  1. Distinguish bees from other kinds of insects (many look-alikes).
  2. Distinguish native bees from honey bees.
  3. Understand the basics of bee anatomy with particular regard to functions and taxonomic characters.
  4. Distinguish the sexes.
  5. Become familiar with the five families of Australian bees.
  6. Learn some of the most common local native bees in each of the five families and the largest genera.
  7. Learn some basic facts about bee biology (e.g. bee life-cycle, food and foraging, nesting sites, nest structure, solitary versus social habits).

The workshop has been programmed to co-incide with pollinator week. This is when the public are encouraged to go and watch a flower for ten minutes non-stop and record what they see. We may be able to conduct this activity under the guidance of Dr Houston during the workshop.

Format: It is an interactive workshop, not a talk.


Date: Saturday 17th November, 2018.

Start: Arrive for 1.45pm. We start promptly at 2pm, please do not be late as it will disrupt the event.  End: 5pm.

Donation: A donation of $3 per person (for both adults and children) for Nats’ Club members. A donation of $5 per adult/child visitor. Pay cash on arrival. Bring cash please.

Simple refreshments will be provided.



  • Bookings open for DRB members on Wednesday 10th October 2018 at 8am.
  • Bookings open for other Nats club members on Wednesday 17th October at 8am.
  • If there are tickets left, bookings open to visitors on Wednesday 24th October at 8am.

There is a high demand for places so they may book out very quickly. Please do not book in unless you can definitely attend.

As soon as it is full we will open a waiting list for everyone and if there are any cancellations received places will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis.

Organiser: Rachel Green. Enquiries: DRB@wanaturalists.org.au

DRB phone: 0436-448-647


17 November 2018
1:45 pm-5:00 pm
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Rachel Green: DRB@wanaturalists.org.au ph: 0436-448-647


Rachel Green
Terry Houston
Native Bees


Venue details to be given on booking
Perth Hills
Western Australia, Australia
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